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MEGA MIRROR: PLAYSTATION II v DREAMCAST; We compare super new games machines.

PLAYSTATION IILaunch date: Autumn 2000. Cost: pounds 250-pounds 300. Tech spec: 128-bit chip. The Emotion Engine is three times more powerful than Intel's Pentium III. Compatible with the Internet, DVD and Digital TV. Advanced graphics capability: 66 million polygons per second.THE original PlayStation was launched in Japan in 1994 and since then 50 million have been sold worldwide. It revolutionised games, introducing us to 3D graphics for the first time.

Now the PlayStation II is set to take videogaming into the 21st century. It is the first console to have AI (artificial intelligence), which makes characters and environments behave as they would in real life.

This works via its powerful Emotion Engine which cost pounds 106 million to develop.

The monster machine also has a graphics synthesiser which enables the creation of highly detailed game worlds and complex simulations.

"Imagine walking into the screen and experiencing a movie in real-time. This is the world we are about to enter," says a Sony spokesman.

PlayStation II also boasts theatre-quality sound and backwards compatibility with current PlayStation games.DREAMCASTLaunch date: September 23, 1999. Cost: pounds 199. Tech spec: 64-bit chip billed as 128-bit performance, Internet compatible, uses GD-ROM (Gigabyte) discs. Graphics capability: Four million polygons per second.SEGA'S Dreamcast is the first of the next-generation systems. It was launched in Japan before Christmas and has been well received.

The machine's RISC chip gives it 128-bit performance which means it is twice as powerful as the N64 and four times more powerful than Sony's PlayStation.

It is equipped with PC technology, including a console version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, a PowerVR3 3D graphics accelerator and PC quality surround sound.

It also comes complete with an upgradeable modem and hand-held device which is both a memory card and a portable gaming system.

Dreamcast games are bigger and better than those for the N64 and PlayStation and there promises to be plenty of them.

Sonic Adventure, Virtua Fighter 3tb and Godzilla Generations are some of the popular titles currently available in Japan.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 24, 1999
Words:340
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